Parchment School District Awarded District Accreditation
Parchment School District was recently granted District Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, the national commission that confers the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) accreditation seal. This means that the district and all of its schools are accredited, and that Parchment School District is recognized across the nation as a quality school system. For more details see our video.
Focus Schools Announced
Parchment North and Central Elementary Schools have been identified as Focus Schools. This label given to them by the Michigan Department of Education means that there is an achievement gap between our top 30% of students and our bottom 30% of students. Currently there are 358 school buildings in 176 districts throughout the state with this designation. It is important to note that the methodology to identify Focus Schools does NOT identify the neediest schools or student groups in terms of student learning or student proficiency; it simply targets the schools with the largest gaps.
This means that we have a gap in our achievement data. This is not new information to our schools as we look at this data many times throughout the year as we implement our School Improvement Plans. Parchment is a district that has provided and continues to provide support to all students through our after school tutoring, mentoring, gifted and talented programs and support personnel that work with our highly qualified teachers.
Please feel free to call your building principal or Central Office if you have questions. More information is also available by going to the website of the Michigan Department of Education.
Parchment School District's curriculum is based on meeting or exceeding the standards set by the Common Core State Standards. Parchment focuses on creating an environment that fosters competent, responsible and collaborative students to take forward-thinking attitudes into the community. This curriculum is continually monitored and revised through school improvement teams, curriculum committee, and support from the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA).
The Parchment core curriculum was developed through a process of defining essential standards for all students and designing back through the grades from those standards.
The Parchment School staff believes the following characteristics are found in effective schools:
- All students will be self-directed competent learners.
- All students will demonstrate responsible citizenship.
- All students will be collaborative, quality workers.
- All students will be future oriented thinkers.
Each building has assessed its own strengths and weaknesses in relation to the above characteristics, and has prepared a School Improvement Plan provides a framework for the improvement of student learning.
Parent and Community
The Parchment School District believes that communication is a key to the establishment of a community-wide commitment to our schools. We welcome feedback from our community members at any time, and have implemented the following to share news and information:
- Each building has a Parent Teacher Organization group that meets monthly. Parent participation is welcomed and encouraged!
- The Parent Advisory Council meets annually and provides excellent feedback to the administration.
- Program information can be found in our quarterly district newsletters (The Panther Press), as well as via school and classroom newsletters.
- Parent-Teacher Conferences are held each fall and spring.
Staff Development efforts focus on meeting the priorities set by the district and building school improvement plans. Our focus continues to be on developing and expanding Professional Learning Communities at all buildings and levels. Staff is also continuing to receive professional learning through our work in K-12 writing and the Collins Writing program. Furthermore, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, staff is working to develop and align units of instruction to meet these new, more rigorous standards in order to best prepare our students for college and career readiness.
The Parchment School District professional staff includes a psychologist, school social worker, speech pathologist and a teacher consultant, all of whom are available to assess student needs and determine eligibility for special education programs and services. In addition, these staff members are available for consultation with teachers and parents as needed. The district also provides a Community Mental Health liaison to provide links to community services.
Services are provided for students who are found eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Michigan Rules and Regulations. Once certified, students can receive services in the following disability areas:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Cognitively Impaired (CI)
- Early Childhood Developmentally Disabled (ECDD)
- Emotionally Impaired (EI)
- Hearing Impaired (HI)
- Learning Disabled (LD)
- Otherwise Health Impaired (OHI)
- Physically Impaired (PI)
- Speech and Language Impaired (SLI)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Visually Impaired (VI)
Parchment, through agreements with other county districts and the intermediate school district, offers a variety of special programs for our students:
Gifted and Talented
The Parchment Board of Education recognizes the need for special programming for students who are academically gifted and talented. The Board is dedicated to providing opportunities both within- and outside of- the District to encourage those students toward maximum growth and a greater understanding of their potential. This programming includes:
- After school enrichment programming for 4th and 5th grade students through our PATS program, which focuses on math, literature, problem solving and research skills.
- Integrated enrichment programming for students in grades 3, 4 and 5.
- Advanced language arts & math courses for grades 6, 7 and 8.
- High School Honors English class.
- High School Advanced Placement classes in English, Calculus and Biology.
- Collaborative coursework and partnership with the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center.
- Participation in the Kalamazoo College Academically Talented Youth Program.
Student Assistance Program for at-risk students providing mentoring, contact with guidance counselors, referral to outside agencies, available K-12.
Extra and co-curricular opportunities are available in academics, dramatics, and athletics to meet the needs of students with diverse interests.
Parchment GSRP (Great Start Readiness Program), a preschool program for four year olds in need of additional preparation for kindergarten.
Title I provides support and direct instruction to students in grades K-5.
Education for Employment (EFE)
Education for Employment (EFE) provides vocational training experiences for juniors and seniors in sites around the county. EFE courses include a wide range of careers including Arts and Communication, Business and Marketing, Engineering, Health and Natural Sciences, and Human Services, Law Enforcement, Automotive, Building Trades, Health Occupations plus many more.
Education for the Arts (EFA)
Education for the Arts (EFA) provides visual and performing arts courses for any high school student in a variety of programs throughout the county including dance, pottery and others.
Plato Online Instruction
Online basic courses offered at Barclay Hills Education Center and Parchment High School for an online experience and/or credit recovery.
Virtual High School
Barclay Hills Education Center offers a virtual high school program known as Parchment Virtual High School. This provides students with the opportunity to complete their entire Michigan Merit curriculum online.
Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress
All students in grades 3-8 take the M-Step tests in English Language Arts and math. Additionally, the M-Step science test is given in grades 4 and 7. Students in grades 5 and 8 take the Social Studies M-Step test. Students in grade 11 take the Michigan Merit Exam (MME). The Merit exam is made up of three components: SAT with Essay, ACT WorkKeys and
M-STEP Science and Social Studies The tests, developed by the Michigan Department of Education, are criterion referenced and designed to assess essential skills.